GRAND FEAST: How's your velvet and taffeta Renaissance gown looking these days? The one with the pearl buttons on the bodice? Not too shabby? Good, good. Turns out you'll want to get it in fine working order -- that means replacing those fake pearls that have dropped off from too much merry-making -- for the Bracebridge Dinners. DNC Destinations just announced the 2011 dates for the Yosemite-based feasts; the first night will be Sunday, Dec. 13, and the final night will be Christmas. There will be eight dinners in all, meaning people serious about raising a goblet and watching a grand, medieval-style pageant best get on the reservation line. (What would people in the medieval era have thought of reservation lines? A mad, wonderful invention from the future? Perhaps.)
YE OLDE COST: The Bracebridge is a four-hour celebration, complete with sumptuous dishes and drink and entertainment, at the world-famous Ahwahnee Hotel. Meaning it is very much a special occasion. Meaning prices for hotel-dinner packages get going at $1000 for the Wawona (that's for one night) and go to $1718 at The Ahwahnee (that's for two nights). Those are double occupancy, dinner-for-two prices, we'll note. And, of course, you'll want to figure in the dry-cleaning bill for that Renaissance frock. The beloved tradition turns 85 this year, so go gussy. Really, we say this thing is beloved, but let's be honest; it is super hardcore beloved. It's beloved times ten, which is some serious belovedness.